COMMERCIAL property firm London Clancy is looking forward to celebrating more in 2015 than just its 25th anniversary.

Mark Clancy, a director of the firm, based at Brinkletts House in Winchester Road, Basingstoke, expects it to be a year of continuing momentum, building on strong investments over the past 12 months, taking advantage of the overall positive outlook on the economy.

He predicts a steady improvement in the number of deals done, especially for the most sought after locations.

Mark said: “Market activity will show a steady improvement, particularly with regards to Grade A space, as occupiers and investors chase down the dwindling stock levels of good quality accommodation.

“There will also be a knock-on effect within the secondary market with upward pressure on rents and reducing incentives as the available stock decreases.

“At the same time overseas and institutional investors will increase their activity within our region, seeking improved returns, and following such substantial deals in 2014 as the sale of Chineham Park, Intec and the 500,000 sq ft West Ham Industrial Estate in Basingstoke.”

Mark said occupier demand will continue to increase more as a factor of business growth rather than consolidation and lease opportunity.

“However, there are potential headwinds as well, with the outcome of the election uncertain and likely to slow the market during the run up.”

He also said rising construction costs will hinder much needed speculative development.

“Rates and empty rates will remain a major burden for many businesses with no prospect of market realignment until 2017 and also the recently announced no back-dating of successful appeals made after April 1 this year.” said Mark.

While he expects a strong performance from the industrial and warehouse property sector Mark added: “The office market will become tighter given the lack of new build and as more offices are converted to residential through permitted development rights.

“This could at last place some pressure on rents and move the current Grade A levels forward from £17 to £20 per sq ft.

“This year may be turbulent for the major supermarket retailers but the high street and secondary locations across our region appear to be set to continue their recent improvement, with take up and confidence increasing in most centres.”